Accidents happen. The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) reports that more than 35 million people seek emergency medical care for accidental injuries each year. If your injury was caused by the recklessness or carelessness of another party, you have the right to hold them responsible for your damages. Most personal injury claims are resolved through settlement—not litigation. A demand letter is a key part of many personal injury claims. Here, our Wisconsin personal injury lawyer explains what a demand letter is and why a well-drafted one is so important.
What is a Demand Letter in a Personal Injury Case?
Demand Letter: Defined
A demand letter in a personal injury case is a formal written request seeking compensation from the at-fault party and—in most cases— their insurance company. The letter serves as a crucial step in the negotiation process between the victim (plaintiff) and the at-fault party (defendant) or their insurance carriers. It outlines the plaintiff’s case, detailing the injuries suffered, medical treatment received, and any other losses incurred, such as medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
The Elements of a Well-Written Personal Injury Demand Letter
What makes an effective demand letter in a personal injury case in Wisconsin? It depends. A demand letter should always be customized to meet the unique circumstances of the case. A compelling personal injury demand letter will typically include the following:
- Detailed Account of the Incident: A demand letter should include a thorough description of the accident or incident, specifying how the at-fault party’s negligence led to the injuries.
- A Statement of Liability: The letter should highlight the strength of the evidence, including things like police reports, witness statements, and photographs.
- A List of Damages and Request of Compensation: A demand letter should include a detailed account of the damages and make a clear request (demand) for compensation.
- A Timeline for Response: A demand letter should not be open ended. There should be a reasonable deadline for a response from the recipient (defendant or insurer).
A Personal Injury Letter Should Be Drafted By a Lawyer
A well-written demand letter can move a personal injury case towards a full and fair settlement. On the contrary, a poorly drafted demand letter could actually undermine the victim’s case. Your demand letter should always be drafted by an experienced Wisconsin personal injury attorney. A lawyer with proven experience can craft a letter that strategically presents in the best possible way—emphasizing key details and evidence that bolster the claim. Beyond that, having a lawyer involved early in the process can send a strong message to the insurance companies.
Schedule a Free Consultation With a Top Wisconsin Personal Injury Attorney Today
At Fitzpatrick, Skemp & Butler, LLC, our Wisconsin personal injury lawyers have the expertise that you can trust in complex cases. Have questions about demand letters? We can help. Call us now or connect with us online to arrange your no cost, no obligation case evaluation. With law offices in Onalaska, Eau Claire, and La Crosse, we represent injured victims throughout the region.